By Senior Airman Ty-Rico Lea, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 04, 2015
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- -- Ensuring service members and their families are provided for is no small task. But members of the 325th Force Support Squadron seem to do it all overseeing everything from dining facilities to mortuary affairs. They work tirelessly meeting the needs of the Air Force's most valued asset - its people.
Centralized at the Military Personnel Section building, the 325th FSS manages a total of eight flights as well as several other facilities staffed by military members, civilian employees and contractors. Because of this dedicated workforce service members and their families enjoy a military lifestyle that keeps Airmen ready. You could say services are provided by service members for service members.
For example, the Sustainment Services Flight continually provides active duty members with meals from two dining facilities, athletic opportunities at Tyndall's fitness center and a new fitness annex facility and recreational activities at the Oasis Sports Bar.
"Our dining facilities provide weekly specialty meals served at both the Berg Liles Dining Facility and the Raptor Quick Turn on the Flight Line," said Master Sgt. Rebecca Wolf, 325th FSS sustainment flight superintendent. "Our fitness annex also hosts cross training and cardio equipment for personnel to use with our new afterhours access. This facility is available to all DoD eligible personnel 24/7. In addition to this, we conduct fitness assessments, provide and teach fitness classes, provide a clean and welcoming place to stay for all Tyndall guests and host wing and base events at the club facilities.
For the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the Berg-Liles DFAC will be open to all persons with base access and their families for a Thanksgiving meal from 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m, added Wolf.
Next on the list is the Operations Flight. What makes this flight unique is that it has several offices with their own tasks and missions which propel the 325th Fighter Wing's mission.
The overall mission of the operations flight is to oversee and manage peacetime-wartime contingency planning and execution. Operational planning is a continuous, repetitive and highly structured process that allows for an orderly transition from peace to war and post-hostilities operations. Unit planning enables proactive management decisions resulting in the timely allocation of forces and capabilities necessary to execute a mission.
"Our Unit Readiness office is responsible for posturing 325th FSS support to Air Expeditionary Force tempo bands, deployment notifications and readiness including medical requirements," said Master Sgt. Tiana Simms-Russell, 325th FSS Operations Flight superintendent. "Anything from Unit Task Code assignments, installation deployment plans and systems, we list them out and provide members with what they require for mission readiness."
The Mortuary Affairs Office has a designated team that works closely with Causality Affairs to provide guidance for the provision of entitlements and communication with the person authorized to direct disposition personnel recovered.
"Our Mortuary Affairs office assists, provides recovery, identification, care and disposition of remains of deceased personnel during peace and wartime across the range of military operations," said Simms-Russell.
The Base Honor Guard program provides military funeral honors, as well as honor guard details for official, and on occasion unofficial, functions such as local sporting events. Providing military funeral honors is the primary mission of the base honor guard program and takes precedence over ceremonial functions. However, Tyndall's Base Honor Guard does support protocol and ceremonial functions for military and civilians when time and resources permit.
Another organization within the 325th FSS is the Resource Management Flight. Personnel in this flight are tasked with ensuring that nonappropriated funds and resources that help support the morale, welfare and recreation of Tyndall's Airmen are managed.
Events hosted and funded by entities on base have the responsibility of allocating their proceeds to the resource management office to be deposited for future plans.
The Resource Management office is responsible for all nonappropriated and appropriated funds, information systems, NAF contracting and logistics for the morale, welfare and recreation activities of the FSS.
Next up is the Force Development flight:
"The overall mission of the Force Development Flight is to support the professional and educational development of our Total Force Airmen and their families, while providing stellar customer service," said Randy Jones, 325th FSS deputy commander.
Two primary programs under Force Development Flight are the Base Training program and Career Assistance Advisor. The Base Training Office is the office of primary responsibility for unit training programs, which includes the development, implementation and management of base-level training policies and procedures. Base Training is also responsible for administering career development course exams to over 743 Airmen in upgrade training per year. Professional Military Education courses are managed and conducted by the CAA program.
"As part of the Education and Training Office, the Voluntary Education program provides Airmen, their dependents and veterans with the tools and resources to pursue higher education," said Jones.
Though the daily tasks of the FSD are varied, each activity revolves around providing the best guidance, support and customer service to Airmen as possible. The Education and Training Office assists customers on a walk-in basis, eliminating the need to call ahead or make an appointment.
One of the squadron's most utilized assets is the Airman and Family Services flight's with their facilities spanning from the Child Development Center, Youth Center and Airman and Family Readiness Center.
"The Airman and Family Services Flight's daily task consists of providing the highest level of customer service to the military, civilian work force and their families," said Marcus Forte, 325th FSS Airman and Family Services flight chief. "In addition, we provide quality, affordable, safe, fun and developmentally appropriate childcare services to more than 350 children and youth daily. Through these services we ensure that the men and women of Tyndall AFB can focus on the overall wing mission."
The Airman and Family Services Flight provide services to include transition assistance programs, financial education and assistance, sports and fitness programs, employment assistance, family life education, and many other programs.
The Airman and Family Services Flight assisted in the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan.
During this event, several families from Japan evacuated to the Panama City area. Tyndall personnel ensured these families were properly registered in Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System and coordinated referrals and assistance regarding finances, schools, doctor appointments, employment, child care and anything else a family may have needed after having to quickly leave their home, said Forte.
Whether it's taking care of children and boosting their development, or hosting base events to strengthen morale, the 325th FSS is always ready to "Support" Airmen and their families.